Home to the Pearl District, Old Town/Chinatown and swaths of grittier, industrial properties, the River District URA has experienced phenomenal growth since 2001. Projects focus on the area’s capacity for continued growth as a high-density, mixed-use urban neighborhood.

Contact: Bernie Kerosky, email or 503-823-3459

Urban Renewal Area (URA) Fast Facts

  • Created: June 1998
  • Total Acres: 314.8
  • Last date to issue long-term debt: June 2021

The River District Urban Renewal Area Plan focuses on the creation of a high density urban residential neighborhood with a mix of multi-family housing, major office facilities, regional attractions, retail businesses, parks and open space. The development of a diverse and affordable inventory of housing, support for the creation of a self-sufficient neighborhood, linkages with adjacent neighborhoods and the Willamette River, and the balance of new development with existing structures are among the key objectives.


  • Generate new private investment and improve the tax base on vacant and underutilized land by developing a wide range of new housing units, new commercial opportunities and open space
  • Foster a “24-hour” city environment for residents, visitors, and employees

Public investment is focused on job creation and employment opportunities. Expansion of the River District boundaries in 2009 included portions of Old Town/Chinatown to help meet community goals and objectives for the area.

Twenty years ago, what we know as the Pearl District was a derelict, underused railroad yard and warehousing area. Today, it’s an internationally-recognized success story – just one of the highlights of our work in the River District, which has included public investment in an array of neighborhood parks, new roads and parking facilities, affordable and catalyzing market-rate housing and innovative projects that maintain the vibrancy of Portland’s downtown core. Much of the URA’s 350 acres have been transformed into a high density urban neighborhood with a lively mix of residents and businesses, major office spaces, regional attractions, retail, parks and open spaces.

That transformation has also included redevelopment of the historic Meier & Frank department store in the retail core south of Burnside and supporting the important connection between the River District and downtown Portland.

Prosper Portland’s role was to put in place the appropriate infrastructure that would allow private development to go forward. In the final analysis, 90 percent of the funding for River District development has come from private sources. Since the inception of the district in FY 1999-2000, its assessed value has grown by $1.7 billion.

Broadway Corridor Framework Plan

The Broadway Corridor, and more particularly the USPS site, is identified in the City of Portland’s West Quadrant Plan as a key opportunity site for high-density employment and signature city attractions, connecting the Old Town/Chinatown and Pearl District neighborhoods. This once-in-a-generation site can help address the most pressing challenges of our time, from climate change to socio-economic inequities, and demonstrate that redevelopment can be inclusive, sustainable, memorable and financially successful.

The purpose of the Broadway Corridor Framework Plan is two-fold:

  1. Articulate a strategic vision for development or redevelopment of the broader Broadway Corridor area, and
  2. Develop a preferred development concept for the USPS site.

The Broadway Corridor Framework Plan was adopted by Prosper Portland on October 14, 2014 and by City Council on November 5, 2015. Work on the Broadway Corridor Development Opportunity is now under way.

River District URA Boundaries Map

View large River District URA Boundaries Map